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SOVEREIGN MAN

Declare your economic independence

September 13, 2010
Dallas, Texas, USA

What would you do if your sole source of income dried up tomorrow?

Would you be prepared? Do you have a plan?

In the Age of Turmoil, many income sources that were considered ‘stable’ in the old system will be at risk; this includes retirement pensions, investment income, salaries and wages, and small business profits.

For example, retirees living on company pensions could easily see their monthly stipends fall due to corporate bankruptcies. And while public pensions like Social Security are unlikely to change in the short-term, this broken system will undoubtedly see massive restructuring in the next decade.

Meanwhile, many small business owners and self-employed professionals may suffer reduced revenue as market conditions and consumer priorities shift; this has already happened to many businesses in the retail and real estate sectors.

For salaried workers, we live in a rather bizarre time when corporate profits are surging, yet revenue growth is lackluster. Companies are cutting back on expenses by reducing their headcounts and squeezing every ounce of productivity out of a smaller workforce.

Millions of people are now unemployed and without a backup plan. Politicians make empty speeches about hope and better times ahead, but they offer little more than hot air and higher deficits.

The thing is, there is a way out… self-reliance is the way to survive and thrive in this Age of Turmoil that we have entered.

When you think about it, this isn’t the only tough time in history; just a few hundred years ago, new settlers in the United States, Canada, and that penal colony down under had to brave harsh terrain, hostile natives, war, disease, etc., all without the convenience of modern technology.

Their only assets were their labor, ingenuity, and whatever they could carry on their backs. Despite difficult conditions, though, these pioneers carved out a new life with their bare hands, and they didn’t rely on government handouts or incompetent central bankers to do it.

Back then, settlers were economically independent; they built their own homes, fetched their own water, and put their own food on the table.

Now, I’m not saying we should all go out and live off the land, but I think the same lessons of economic independence apply today. In fact, in keeping with the theme from the last several days, I believe that declaring economic independence is the third pillar of self-reliance.

At the end of the day, we only have ourselves to rely on, and our own livelihood and that of our families hinges on this fact. As such, it’s critical to declare economic independence by seeking alternate sources of income.

Alternate sources of income can take a variety of forms. For those with a secure job and a fair amount of investment capital tucked away, income can be derived from any number of passive assets like high yielding securities, productive land, or other income-producing real estate.

For people who are short on capital, the development and licensing of intellectual property is a great way to generate an additional source of income. If you have a creative idea that solves a problem, there are likely several potential suitors who would license the rights to your idea.

For others who enjoy the stability of a steady paycheck, it’s a smart idea to develop new skills and seek secure employment in some of the fastest growing industries in developing economies.

In China, for example, there is a hiring bonanza in retail banking. Citigroup alone is hiring 12,000 people there. Same deal with investment banking and fund management.

There are dozens of other places in the world with similar conditions, including your home country. Sure, the housing market may have slowed down, but alternative energy is a thriving industry just about anywhere.

Here’s the bottom line: even in the worst economic conditions that we have ever known, there is substantial opportunity everywhere around us. Just like in the stock market where you can make money by shorting when the market is headed south, you can make money in a down economy.

In a down economy, it’s not like all economic activity stops; unemployment may be 10%+, underemployment may be 20%+, but there is still 80% of the workforce that is getting paid and allocating their income towards purchases each and every month.

The critical difference is that their priorities have shifted. In general, people are no longer looking to spend their money on useless trinkets or expensive consumables. But they will gladly spend on the things that they actually need.

I think this is where the greatest opportunity lies for entrepreneurs and professionals– tapping in to the shift in consumer demand.

A good entrepreneur will identify an unfilled need in the marketplace– identify a problem that needs to be solved– and create value by providing a solution. Any business that can consistently provide value for its customers will prosper in any economy, good or bad.

My own advice is for adventurous entrepreneurs to consider moving to a foreign country that either has solid economic fundamentals, vast resource wealth, or will likely become a preferred destination for the coming wave of expatriation.

These locations will provide the most substantial business opportunities, both for self-employed professionals as well as for entrepreneurs.

Having created some initial wealth for myself in this way several years ago, I believe wholeheartedly in this idea… and I’m putting my money where my mouth is. In fact, I’m actually having some discussions right now to fund some young people in setting up small businesses in central Asia next year.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can Download our Free 17 page Report The 6 Pillars of Self Reliance.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ratabulum

    How I found economic independence (sort of)

    Four years ago I was living in Vancouver not going anywhere personally and professionally. My life was stagnating. I wasn’t growing as a person and realized that to continue growing I had to get outside of my comfort zone. What I did next turned out to be the best decision of my life. I quit my job with nothing lined up, packed my bags and hopped on a plane to Hong Kong to find a new career in real estate asset management, which is something I had always wanted to do but couldn’t do in my home town.

    It took me three months and I managed to get one offer but I eventually managed to land a post inside a now federally-backed too-large-to-fail insurance company. From that point on, life took a number of twists and turns including being laid off twice due to the financial crisis but I’m still around to talk about it for the following reasons:

    I used to think I was saving decent money in Vancouver, probably averaging 10% to 15% of pre-tax income, which is better than the typical Canadian or American in that I always thought it was prudent to save up for a rainy day. In Asia, you won’t be able to sleep at night if you save so little. It is true that “some” people save over half their income and in my case I was saving over 50% of pre-tax income in my best days, EXCLUDING any bonus or investment income. That allowed me to take a 25% pay cut one time and still be able to save 25% of my income. The quality of life hasn’t been that great. I haven’t had a TV for five years or a dishwasher. I only bought a laundry machine three years ago after the laundromat destroyed my clothes. However, I realized that all the domestic appliances that seem to be a necessity of a civilized north american society and that it is possible to be happy with a lot less. Without a TV, you’re somewhat forced to leave the flat unless you enjoy being holed up in a 500′ apartment.

    The way banking, business, transportation, real estate is done here is rather different and it differs quite largely from country to country. Having only one perspective actually limits your effectiveness because you only see and understand things one way. In Vancouver, if you had told me it was possible to have a monthly transportation budget of US$50 I would have thought you were crazy compared to the $1,000 per month cost of owning a car, factoring in depreciation, insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, etc. Even a monthly bus pass cost over $120 per month in Vancouver. It took me a while to realize that the auto industry implicitly keeps poor people poor because the barriers to transportation are so high. However, in Hong Kong, the bottom 20% are just as mobile as the top 20% and having a car actually reduces your mobility in certain respects. It’s extremely difficult to find parking and by the time you do, it would have been faster just to take the tube and walk.

    Due to family circumstances, I have to make the return back to Canada but the other side of the country but if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that once you become a global nomad, you can never go back to being “domesticated”. If anyone has any ideas for striking it out in Toronto on my own, I’d be happy to hear them. On the one hand, I will eventually need a stable source of income. On the other hand, I know that as long as I have a “job” I will always be at the mercy of someone else’s desire to sign a paycheque.

    I look forward to learning of new ways to be completely independent financially.

  • http://www.fathertimepublishing.com/product_info.php?cPath=3372292&products_id=49335661 Father Time

    Hello Simon,

    Your newsletters are impressive! You are absolutely right!
    The system no longer works (not that it ever did) and the whole thing is becoming a joke.

    As previously mentioned, I began peddling self defense pepper sprays for CASH profits, and other assorted merchandise as well.

    I notice that many of your fans are stocking up on gold and silver in coin and scrap form, but one day, things may get such that no one would want to trade some of their surplus food for gold or silver!

    There was a Twilight Zone episode, the one we all love, from Rod Serling, the genius!

    It was about four men in the future, who pulled a heist and stole a bunch of gold bars, then they either went in a space ship, or maybe they had themselves put into suspended animation…for fifty years!

    Needless to say, something like fifty years later, when I think three of them survived (if memory serves) they were all fighting over the gold, and two eventually killed one, out of greed, then one killed the other…but then, tired, thirsty, and nearly dead from heat exhaustion and dehydration, he is found lying on the side of the road, begging a couple passing by in their futuristic vehicle.

    The man whispers “I will give you gold…I need water…I have gold.” Then he dies, and the man says to his wife, something to the effect, “this guy was offering us gold, as though it were worth something, like it was over fifty years ago, until they learned how to manufacture it.”

    My point is this…you can all stock up on gold and silver, but you also need to stock up on food, water, drinks, medical supplies, and other comforting things, even things that you can use to barter with others, who may have things that you need, down the road!

    People who are not yet wealthy, just as I am not, can still start earning cash, under the radar…they can buy and sell some merchandise, they can do outsourcing jobs through a huge outsourcing website, they can start their own website, and the list goes on!

    The main thing is to get yourself set up with a few streams of income! It is very important! An ancient Chinese proverb comes to mind…

    “The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

    Keep up the good work, Simon!
    -Father Time-

  • Greg

    Just set up a new banking account in Singapore… much, much easier than getting a broadband internet connection account set up. Only needed a passport. No working visa or special documents required.

    • Terence

      Why did you tease us with this nugget and not give details on who to talk to?

      • Greg

        Not trying to tease… just went into a couple of local Singapore banks and spoke to a personal banker. The only document that I needed to show them was my passport and I also needed some cash for the initial deposit. Whole process took about 45 minutes which included waiting for the banker. Walked out with a working ATM card.

  • Global Patriot

    Hi Simon –

    Your request for information about how people have acheived or are achieving economic independence has had a wide variety of responses. I suppose this is because everyone’s situation is different and it makes for very interesting reading.

    I will share my plan and try to keep it simple. Basically, it involves having several streams of income generated by different entities and in different countries. As a US citizen, the US is not a tax haven for me. Nevertheless, I have children who are not US citizens. My plan involves being resident of country #1 (for me not in US), registering a business in country #2, and having a bank account in country #3. An internet business is hosted in country #4. A business requiring a physical presense is in country #5. The controlling company is set up as a trust in country #6. Each of my children have their own cell company(s) registered in a country other than where they are living. My income is generated by a share in each cell company, as well as my own businesses. My businesses include internet businesses selling “green” products, art, gift service, and a boutique inn, as well as passive income from small business bookkeeping products and self-published books I have written. The companys I have shares in are based around the world, and include heavy equipment rental, selling, advertising, and computer programming.

    I am currently looking for a property in Central America where I will establish a subsistence living with solar/wind power, water supply, and waste control, while growing/raising enough to maintain my household.

    Production doesn’t necessarily have to be food, but if everyone in the world produced (anything) more than they consumed, no one in the world would lack for anything.

    Also, keep everything in balance. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs all need to be nurtured and a balance maintained for a person to have a long, fulfulling existence.

    Thank you for sharing your insights and providing this example for us to learn from. – Global Patriot

  • Gitaneros

    As far as generating an income for those who are not yet ready to retire you may want to consider healthcare. I am a sole proprietor in the alternative medicine field. Almost all my clients come from referrals or my website, so my marketing overhead is quite low ($24.95/mo.) I have a friend who is a home health aid and she says she can work all over the U.S., both as an independent contractor or an employee. Due to the huge population demographics and specific needs of baby boomers, both my friend and I have quite a bit of job security. Few industries offer the kind of certainty that healthcare offers.

    Along the health & wellness line, I will be starting a wellness coaching certification course witin a year. Telephone and web-based coaching are the industry standards and allow you to work anywhere on the planet as long as you have a working phone line or Internet connection. Furthermore, if your coaching company is under the auspices of an LLC, it may be possible to strategically base your coaching company in a low tax jurisdiction somewhere in the world. The lowered tax advantages of such a setup would be obvious. Also, you should know that coaching one of the fastest growing job sectors in the world; I believe it is here to stay.

  • Greg

    We are looking at changing the hosting service that we use for one of our businesses to Canada and we are also looking to see what fees would be involved to basing the company out of Singapore vs. the US. These are a couple of steps toward economic independence that we are currently working on.

  • http://talcottsystems.com/ Steven S

    Hi Simon, I’m moving to Manila next month to meet the rest of my software developers face to face and open an office. Also, having a baby is much less expensive there, my wife is due in Feb and we want the baby to have dual citizenship. Lucky dog will have it before we do. May set up some business stuff in Singapore and/or HK. We’ll see. From idea to execution in 6 months. Pretty fast. When you know what you want the world gets out of your way. Steven

  • Jim P.

    Hi Simon,

    After 10 years of preparation, I now find myself enjoying life free of the worries associated with depending on others for a salary. And your newsletter has played a substantial role in the last year to get me thinking about planting flags overseas to diversify my options. Here’s my plan in a nutshell:

    While driving to the end of the road in 1997 to begin a white-water rafting trip on the Salmon River in central Idaho, I noticed a log cabin for sale in the middle of the National Forest. After I realized that it was possible to hunt elk and deer, and fish for steelhead trout in this area, I ended up buying the place with the idea of early retirement in mind. I now have it fixed up with solar power and live entirely off the grid, but still have satellite internet, a freezer/fridge etc. Also have 20 fruit trees and a half-acre garden with 5 feet of sandy-loam soil that grows all the food I could need; everything from okra to kale to tomatoes and 3 foot pumpkins. Combine that with all the fire wood I could ever need and water rights from the last large undammed river in western North America, and I can live very comfortably now for $4000 a year if I wanted to.

    In addition, I have opened a bank account in Uruguay and have transferred my 401(k) into a truly self-directed IRA where my LLC is looking into investing in farm land in Ecuador. My plan is to live 6 months in the US and the rest of the time down in South America. I still have to figure out the best way to transfer and store overseas the $200,000 in gold bullion and silver bars I have bought to preserve my savings.

    Based on all the great comments I’ve read over the last few days, your inspirational words have undoubtedly prompted many others to take steps similar to mine.

    Thanks again!

    Jim

  • BW

    Financial independence: philosophically speaking, independence from what/who? From the mafiosky who control the money supply and the specific form allowed to be used as ‘money’, and whose rules we must follow in complete and thorough detail or get in trouble? That would work for me.

    [So would not having to apply for passports as if I really cared, as though in agreeable complicity to the proposition that those people “own” the right of moving around on the planet, and we’re merely privileged to participate by the grace of their magnanimity (plus the cash and other requirements, not valid west of the Rockies). Strictly speaking, one is not precisely sovereign when one must speak “the words of one who kneels” (from the song “My Way”). Be that as it may, I concede that it is necessary to recognize that usually only war changes those kinds of arrangements. Perhaps a hundred years from now people’s ideas of themselves and their places on the planet will be more enlightened.]

    In terms of individual independence, it bogles the mind, comparing what individuals will calculate as beneficial when it comes to debt, to what large corporations will calculate. They make plans for 30 year loans, 30 year bonds, 30 year leases, live in $30 million homes on 30 year mortgages (these things seem to always come in 30s) Their concerns regarding financial independence are the competition taking away customers/clients, being taken over by another company, or the bank not granting a loan. And startups commit themselves to remunerating angel investors with profit, and all dance around each other until they either succeed or go bust (as in dot-com excess). They count on future profits way into the future, supposing all things will go well even until then.

    As individuals, we’re calculating future profits way into at least a couple of years, supposing things will go to hell in a hand-basket. It’s the prudent thing to do. : )

    But, as Simon did express, sometimes we aren’t paying attention the other 80% of the situation. Ve haf vays . . .

  • Deckman

    Untold hours here online has taught me enough that I now know that there is a better way to self reliance than rendering my labor for money. As long as you are trading labor for money your reliance is in someones hands other than yours.
    Internet marketing is the only way to give me the freedom to have the self reliance to start living instead of working for a living.
    When you create a solution for people in need you will prosper.
    The world can then be your oyster.

  • Dilaughin

    Simon & Friends,Hello from Austin (currently). I’ll take a shot at winning a subscription by sharing the exact steps I took to achieve economic independence. Here is exactly… How I Declared Economic Independence: A 10-Step PlanMost of the ‘work’ that needed to be done in order to achieve economic independence had to get done inside my head first.Here’s the exact 10-Step plan I used to achieve it:1. Decide that I was done with the soul numbing corporate structure that limited my mobility, creativity and freedom. This is a key first step. Until I actually decided that I was DONE, I had no reason to change what I was doing. I was in a rut and would have remained there had I not decided I was going to take a different path.2. Declare that Economic Independence was my right and that if others can do it, I can too. This required suspension of disbelief for a brief period until I achieved some small successes.Those first two steps were fairly easy.3. Shed the lifetime of dogma that those I admired and looked up to had injected into my belief system over 4 decades. This was a bit of a challenge and is an ongoing effort. So much of my identity had been wrapped up in (1) my job (2) my title (3) my flashy toys and stuff (4) my income (to pay for the toys and stuff). It took some honest soul searching to get that who I was at my core–my being–was really none of those things. Ego wrestling was no easy feat. 4. Break my addiction to consumerism and buying things just for the brief pleasure of buying them and using them until I became bored and wanted the next new thing. This step was intertwined tightly with Step 3. It was in Step 4 that I realized that all my ‘stuff’ had been stripping me of my freedom. The toys that I had accumulated for status, ego and/or short-term gratification had kept me tethered to the corporate structure and the illusion of security in order to pay for them as well as a geography and structure in order to house them. 5. Inventory what I actually needed versus all the things I thought I wanted. Completing this step allowed me to experience greater peace around Step 4. Surprisingly, the stuff I actually ‘NEED’ is a list of only about 50 or 60 things that fit nicely inside one carry-on and a laptop bag. 6. With Steps 3, 4 & 5 completed, it was easier to determine how much money I actually NEEDED in order to fund my life and the feelings I wanted to experience. This number is the minimum amount I must generate each week/month in order to meet my needs. The key here was identifying the feelings I wanted to experience rather than the things I wanted to buy thinking the things would produce the feelings. The top 3 feelings I want to experience are: freedom, fun, satisfaction. This ties back to the feelings behind why I wanted to experience economic independence. 7. Change my thinking and perspective from that of a technician (doer) to that of a strategist. Rather than trying to come up with a business or vocation I could DO, I decided to come up with a strategy, a framework for making money and a process for hiring others to execute the technical and tactical details of the strategy.8. Monetize the crowd. Rather than be the person who does the work, I decided I would be the one who discovers opportunity, draws a crowd and then sell access to that crowd. There are literally thousands of businesses who would gladly pay for access to paying customers. I simply became the intermediary between the business and their eventual customers (crowd).9. Perfect the model and leverage it with others when appropriate. This gives me the ability to leverage my income and not be tied to a geography.10. Enjoy and experience life in different cultures, geographies and flags. One of the things I realized in Step 4 is that my life actually ‘happens’ outside the house. The house is simply a place where I rest and rejuvenate. The experience of life happens as I am out and about in a city. Life happens at a cafe, a pub, over a pint, on a beach, on a train, during a conversation with strangers or business associates, a concert or theatre, etc.With the recent passing of my two closest family members, I saw firsthand that when the music finally stops, there are really only two ledgers in life (1) Those whose lives I’ve touched, (2) Those who have touched my life. With this in mind, economic independence simply provides the means to sustain filling my two ledgers for as long as my body is able and my spirit willing.Cheers mate. I truly hope our paths cross one day soon. I would love to share a pint and add your name to my ledger because your writing has had an impact on me. For that, I thank you.

  • Joe

    Economic Independence

    1) Invest in studying of how I can leverage business such as direct response marketer, strategies, metrics, and get hands on experience with knowledge successful entrepreneur. Good entreprneneur who will take under the wing is hard to find one those day.

    2) Get rid of materials I owned. I no longer needs luxury items or useless stuff that take up space. Become a minimalist and learn to live on less and live a wealthy life through traveling, meeting people, take up an educational session, and doing charity work.

    3) Cut off what I keep on spending that I don’t really need. Do I need cable? Newspaper? I can rent few movies a month and go out meeting people to get news.

    4) Reduce business expenses and increase service value and price.

    5) Seek strategic alliance and joint ventures to increase customers and profitability.

    6) Study and puruse investments in golds and overseas investments.

    7) Give wealthy away to build a framework where others may prospers through merit and hard work. It is what wealthiest men do because it is what it make them wealthier.

  • BW

    Financial independence: philosophically speaking, independence from what/who? From the mafiosky who control the money supply and the specific form allowed to be used as ‘money’, and whose rules we must follow in complete and thorough detail or get in trouble? That would work for me.

    [So would not having to apply for passports as if I really cared, as though in agreeable complicity to the proposition that those people “own” the right of moving around on the planet, and we’re merely privileged to participate by the grace of their magnanimity (plus the cash and other requirements, not valid west of the Rockies). Strictly speaking, one is not precisely sovereign when one must speak “the words of one who kneels” (from the song “My Way”). Be that as it may, I concede that it is necessary to recognize that usually only war changes those kinds of arrangements. Perhaps a hundred years from now people’s ideas of themselves and their places on the planet will be more enlightened.]

    In terms of individual independence, it bogles the mind, comparing what individuals will calculate as beneficial when it comes to debt, to what large corporations will calculate. They make plans for 30 year loans, 30 year bonds, 30 year leases, live in $30 million homes on 30 year mortgages (these things seem to always come in 30s) Their concerns regarding financial independence are the competition taking away customers/clients, being taken over by another company, or the bank not granting a loan. And startups commit themselves to remunerating angel investors with profit, and all dance around each other until they either succeed or go bust (as in dot-com excess). They count on future profits way into the future, supposing all things will go well even until then.

    As individuals, we’re calculating future profits way into a couple of years, supposing things will go to hell in a hand-basket. It’s the prudent thing to do. : )

    But, as Simon did express, sometimes we aren’t paying attention the other 80% of the situation. Ve haf vays . . .

  • Rowena

    I have already started this plan:

    Working part time in a job which can only safeguard my future employment if things get tough – looking after people with some type of disability;
    Planning on a new job in the natural health industry which can be worked from my home or once proficient anywhere I want to go;
    Looking at what is really needed in the food area – people have to eat – health related, i.e., gluten free products, raw food, and this can also start from my home or simple beginnings, i.e., the local farmer’s market;
    Strategising how to reach as many people with little effort, as your ability to earn is determined by how well known you are;
    Having a product or two which are valuable to others and which can be bartered for other products from others.
    Expanding my knowledge on how to grow organic vegs – am doing this now, but want to develop this further.

    Simon – what I really want to know is how to invest successfully with little capital. This area is badly lacking and I believe a great deal of people are in the same boat. If more people had this knowledge, and soon, perhaps our future could be improved somewhat.

  • BounceBack!

    Not to be overly philosophical but these are the things I am doing to create the momentum for my second financial independence. (We lost much of the first one.) 1. Change with the change. (Or get a flat forehead.) 2. Detach from things. The things you hold on to are generally the things that keep you from changing. Those “things” could be both physical and emotional. 3. Attach to experiences and quality relationships. We all know it and we’ve all said it…the best things in life are free. Also, you can’t succeed alone; you need other quality people in your life for many different reasons. 4. Continue to study, learn and take some risks towards another success. It’s mostly “journey” not always “arrival”. And uncertainty makes it interesting. 5. Out-fox the politicians. History provides plenty of clues. They will also, inadvertently, provide plenty of opportunities to those who pay attention. 6. Remember gratitude; there’s still much to be grateful for. It lessens the anger, which is a distraction and time waster, and helps to keep the mind more clear and receptive to the information that’s needed to win. “Anger is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die.” 7. Have courage. You’ll need plenty of it. “Stand for something or fall for anything.” You can start with your own well-being. 8. Start a business (part-time, full-time, any-time). It’s the best way I can see to take control over my financial future. In my case, I’m passionate about tennis (ex-pro) so thinking of products and services within my area of interest is easy. I am not smart enough to invent something new and earth-shattering but I am plenty creative enough to take an existing product, solve a “problem” and make it better. I am just dipping my straw into an existing pipeline by adding value. 9. Just do it. Here’s the biggest reason you must get started, one idea leads to another which leads to another which leads to another and so forth. Once your mind gets going you can’t turn it off. And others are always quick to give you their 2 cents (some of which will actually be great). Your first idea may bomb. It doesn’t matter. Move on to idea #2, or #3, or #4. “Get knocked down four times, get up 5.” 10. Read more, watch less. Then I’m in control of me, not “them”!

  • lionel

    I got an idea for an online market information subscriber service too…I’m thinking it’s very feasible and it’s all a matter of getting the right infrastructure in place to get the show going on the road!

  • Pstayner

    HI SIMON..
    I CAME FROM A BROKEN HOME AND LIVED A LARGE PART OF MY LIFE IN TORONTO,ONT,CANADA.
    AT THE AGE OF 9 I RATIONALIZED THAT I WOULD NEVER INHERIT ANYTHING AS MY WORKING MOTHER WAS DOING ALL SHE COULD TO RAISE HER 3 SONS. SO IF I WAS TO BE SUCCESSFUL,I WOULD HAVE TO DO IT MYSELF AS THE ELDEST SON.

    FROM THE AGE OF 9 I STARTED DELIVERING FISH AND CHIPS AFTER SCHOOL AND WAS ABLE TO BUY ALL MY OWN CLOTHES AND PROVIDE MY SPENDING MONEY AS I GRADUATED TO A PAPER ROUTE,AND THEN MANY PARTTIME JOBS THRO HIGH SCHOOL.
    BY THE TIME I WAS 17,I HAD 2 CARS AND WAS THE BEST DRESSED KID IN SCHOOL AS I WAS THE ONLY ONE IN MY CLASS OF 35 WHO HAD A JOB,AND MY 3 PARTTIME JOBS PROVIDED ME WITH THE AVERAGE WAGE OF A FAMILY MAN IN CANADA AT THAT TIME.
    WORK WAS TO BE A BLESSING ALL MY LIFE.I HAD 4 FULL TIME NIGHT SHIFT GROCERY WORKERS WORKING FOR ME ON THE WEEKENDS AND I HAD OTHER WORK EVENINGS DURING THE WEEK.
    THERE WAS NO MONEY TO SEND ME TO COLLEGE,SO I STARTED WORKING AS A CLERK IN AN ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND I TOOK A 5 YEAR ACCOUNTING DEGREE AT NIGHT.DURING THIS TIME,I HAD 4 DAUGHTERS PLUS AN ADOPTED DAUGHTER.
    I ALSO TOOK A MARKETING COURSE AT NIGHT TO APPRECIATE ANOTHER SIDE OF BUSINESS.I DECIDED THAT I SHOULD WORK FOR SMALLER COMPANIES TO ROUND OUT MY EXPERIENCE AND THAT WORKED OUT WELL.
    AT THE AGE OF 28,CANADA CAME OUT WITH A RRSP..REGISTERED RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN..I FELT THIS WOULD ENABLE ME TO BE ABLE TO CHANGE JOBS WITHOUT BEING TIED TO A COMPANY PLAN..THIS PLAN PRESENTLY HOLDS ABOUT $ 1,500,000. AND THROWS OFF A MONTHLY INCOME OF OVER $14,000 WHICH I REINVEST IN THE PLAN.
    DURING THE FINAL URARS OF MY CAREER,I WAS THE SENIOR FINANCIAL OFFICER OF 3 LARGE COMPANIES SIMULTANEOUSLY.THE LARGEST ONE WAS IN MANUFACTURING WITH SALES IN EXCESS OF $200,000,000.
    I LEFT THE BUSINESS WORL AT THE AGE OF 70, AND NOW MANAGE MY PORTFOLIO WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF #10.000,000.
    FROM THE AGE OF 45,I TOOK 4 MONTHS OFF AND SAILED GEORGIAN BAY,WHILE DOING FINANCINGS AND PARTICIPATING IN THE PURCHASE OF COMPANIES FROM THE COCKPIT OF MY OCEAN GOING SAILBOATI NOW LIVE IN VICTORIA,BC AND SPEND MUCH TIME IN MY NEW SAILBOAT..
    HAVING REACHED THE AGE OF 73,I DECIDED TO TURN THE BULK OF MY INVESTMENTS OVER TO 3 HEDGE FUNDS..
    I HAVE A DISCRETIONARY TRUST OFFSHORE IN ONE COUNTRY,WITH THE PROTECTOR IN ANOTHER,WITH A CUSTODIAN IN ANOTHER..THERE ARE NO TAXES BEING SAVED AS ALL GET REPORTED BY WAY OF TAX RETURN ALONG WITH A SIZABLE CHEQUE TO THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT.
    SINCE I STARTED WITH THE HEDGE FUNDS 7 MONTHS AGO,THERE IS A DISCREPANCY OF 30% BETWEEN THEIR PERFORMANCE AND MINE.THE CANADIAN FUND SAID I SHOULD BE WORKING THERE AND THE NEW YORK FUND WANTED TO KNOW IF I WOULD JOINT VENTURE WITH THEM.

    I HAVE NO INTEREST IN COMPLICATING MY LIFE IN SUCH A FASHION AND FEEL I WILL BE TAKING THE FUNDS BACK FROM THEM AND CONTINUING TO MANAGE IT MYSELF..THIS IS A LOT OF WORK IN THAT MY RESEARCH OFTEN GOES TO 3 AM,AND SSOMETIMES I STAY UP A FEW EXTRA HOURS TO MAKE TRADES WHEN THE MARKETS OPEN.SINCE I AM ON THE WEST COAST,THIS IS NOT AS BAD AS I SOUNDS..IT IS LIKE PLAYING MONOPOLY,ONLY WITH REAL MONEY.IN 2009 WHILE I MANAGED THE OFFSHORE FUNDS MY RETURN WAS OVER 33%.IT WON’T BE ANYTHING LIKE THAT THIS YEAR..

    I DO TAKE MY WIFE OUT FOR LUNCH EVERY DAY AND WE SAIL OR GO SHOPPING AND I DON’T START MY RESEARCH TILL ABOUT 7 PM WHILE WATCHING TV AND TALKING WITH MY WIFE..ALL MY DAUGHTERS ARE MARRIED AND HAVE AN INVITATION TO VISIT ANYTIME AT MY ESPENSE..

    I AM PREPARED TO ESTABLISH MYSELF OFFSHORE SHOULD THE NEED ARISE..I HAVE PICKED OUT THE COUNTRY OF TAX RESIDENCE AS WELL AS THE COUNTRY I WILL LIVE IN SHOULD I SO CHOOSE.

    I DON’T KNOW IF THE FORGOING WAS THE KIND OF INPUT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR,BUT THAT’S A SHORT TAKE ON MY LIFE..KIND REGARDS..PATRICK

  • Serebro

    - Anticipating a changing new world order, I left the US for good in the summer of 2008 and came to Asia. I took the initiative to become self-reliant at a young age, and have never had any regrets.

    – Now 24, my main line of work is acting as a liaison between the Russians and Chinese for a high-tech firm in a megacity in south-western China.

    – Growing up, I took advantage of summer school vacations to live in other countries and do language courses – full immersion (the most effective way to learn foreign languages). I now have a solid command of Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Brazilian Portuguese, and Italian. These skills have given me many options in life, and I’ve learned that being open-minded to opportunities and adaptable to change have allowed me to progress during the world’s turbulent economic times.

    – The past couple of years in Asia, I’ve planted several offshore banking flags and now have my sights on the citizenship program in Singapore.

    – As a western in China, the buying power of maintaining a quality standard of living here is absurd. I’m renting a 80 square meter 2 bedroom apartment for USD$235 a month. I no longer have to worry about the hassles of driving and maintaining a vehicle. Although I walk most places on a daily basis, to give you an idea, the starting fare for taxis here is about USD$1.15.

    – Due to very low living costs, I’m able to save 80% of my income, which I have already allocated much of that into gold and silver. I’m in the process of acquiring some fertile land with lots of water in the state of Rio de Janeiro. These are my primary actions and strategies of preserving my capital.

    – Living in a city that is growing at an annual rate of 18% is utterly exciting, which is a healthy form of motivation being immersed in such an environment. Due to absence of foreigners here and since very few locals speak English, my current project is working as a consultant to facilitate agricultural deals between China and Brazil.

    – Through an arranged marriage in Brazil, I am now a permanent resident and will be obtaining my Brazilian citizenship within 1.5 years time. My friends think I am crazy, but looking into the long-term and actually being proactive has allowed me to make things a reality.

    – I see the Sovereign Man website as a great platform to exchange ideas with others and help fellow readers make new opportunities come to fruition. Thank you Simon Black.

    • Incogneedo

      Serebro! Awesome! I am in love with Brazil as well….Keep posting. My plan is to get some land there as well…Have met a couple of farmers there already and will be mining those contacts and travelling the country until I find the right place for me.

      Seriously stay in touch!!

  • Alex Nordach

    I view economic independence as a matrix of several interlocking components. One, I own my own business. (Income stream #1.) This has got to be the first step for most “regular” people, as you will never have enough time to spend making yourself independent if you have to answer to a boss. Second, I never use banks for anything more than month-to-month stuff, so there’s usually only about $1,000 to $2000 in them at any one time. The less you have in banks, the less susceptible you are to the more common types of government control & thievery. Three, high-yield securities. (Income stream #2.) Four, gold. Hard to trace, easy to transport (in small quantities). Five, an online business. (Income stream #3.) Six, a skill (translation/interpretation) that can be taken many places.

    These are the components I have at the moment. In the future I hope to add owning farmland and perhaps real estate for more passive income streams. My wife also has non-duplicating income streams (except for the securities), so that adds an extra layer of protection as well. I would advise any couples to consider diversifying in this manner as well.

  • Federalist45

    Simon: I may be past the point of no return as I am in my fifties, dependent to some extent upon a military retirement (so cannot afford to give up my citizenship) and military medical care, invested heavily in a government-supported savings plan (TSP), with two kids still in school (private college and private high school). As much as I might try, it will be difficult for me to break out of my dependence for many reasons.

    HOWEVER, I forward your best articles to my son, in college, and encourage him to explore alternatives to the traditional American model. He is 19 and has his entire adult life ahead of him. He can do anything he wants. Same with my daughter, 17. Using ideas they read on your blog and others, they can break through to a new way of seeing the world and the future and take full advantage of the enormous opportunities to stay independent and free. I have encouraged both children to think about China, Australia, Brazil, NZ, Singapore, and other options for their future. Both are interested in a Green future, and there are tons of opportunities there. In short, they can do anything they set their minds to. Their futures truly are up to them. Thanks for all of your great ideas and, mostly, for your inspiration. You are a great man, Simon Black, whoever you are. Please keep up the good work.

    • Jimmy

      Hey Federalist I’m 71, and I’ve got great-grandkids! I’ve had two careers, as a diver and as a construction inspector, and “It ain’t over til it’s over” – I think Yogi Berra said that. A few years ago I invested a relatively small amount of money in a house lot near the beach in Brasil and – the Dollar went up, the land price went up, and I tripled my money in four years.
      The U.S., as you may not know, now allows dual citizenship, so you don’t have to completely bail on everything.
      I have a government 457K plan which I;m probably going to convert to a Roth IRA, maybe even one of the self-directed independent ones.

  • Vigeoro

    How I intend to plant my economic independence: I like the steady paycheck and the ability to work anywhere. Having read from TCR about the shortage of internet security experts, I intend to become a network/internet security specialist and have begun taking the required coursework to attain this goal. It amazes me how unsecure our networks are to hackers, viruses, and even hostile governments.

    As an internet/network specialist, I can go anywhere and offer my services to governments and businesses, and ask for my price. Having the ability to walk away because I have options is very important in negociations and having a skill that is in demand assures me I will always have a source of earned income.

    Simon: Will we get a preview of your new service?

  • wonz

    Economic independence is a state of mind.

    Mentally I’ve declared my economic independence by promising to be the best capitalist I can be, serving as many customers as I can. Just what exactly should be served, I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve realized its bad economics to dabble, common sense and the law of comparative advantage tells me I should simply be serving people by doing what I do best and what I am most difficult to replace with. Ideally it should be married to my calling

    Once I discover what I do best and what my calling is I’ll combined them in a way to monetize whatever I am producing.

    While I am still trying to figure this out, I’ll continue to read, learn, readjust, do, refine, and reevaluate until I do figure it out.

  • MiGrower

    Move to a legal state and grow medical marijuana ;o)

  • Diegobeyer

    I have no idea how to declare economic independence. Although I feel like I must come up with something real fast. You see, I live in Brazil and the coming years will be very generous to this country. World Cup 2014, and Olympics will also be a huge boost on economy, as construction works begins, soon the demand for services will rise.
    I would love to hear some thoughts on how to capitalize on this market.

  • Brandon

    I’ve created an on-line subscription model business that now has over 1200 customers paying me each month, and I’m only working about 5 hours per week to maintain it, so my family is pretty free to travel and live anywhere (we’re currently exploring South America). Next, I’m planning to purchase some foreign property, either land, a condo/house, or a business/hotel, and become a citizen of another country with a second passport. Having money in foreign bank accounts is fine, but I’d like prefer if it’s actually growing, rather than just sitting there.

  • Worldtraveller999

    The best way to declare economic independence is to gain a skill that is transferable between countries and which is in demand. At the high earning end of the scale it can be knowledge of the Basle regulatory accord and how to implement it in a credit environment. At a lower level it can be nursing and health care, very popular amongst Fillipinos who are always seeking work overseas; and teaching English, the monetary rewards are not so great but if you enjoy travel then the whole World is open to you. It is also a good way to establish a foothold in a country while searching for something higher up the scale. All these roles fit into a salary or freelance model.

  • http://InvestLetters.com Roger

    I have been building simple online businesses so that I have portal, non-location dependent income for several years now.

    In fact, one of my first efforts was promoting “Without Borders”, your very own publication with Fitroy through Casey Research. I had a free wordpress blog named CaseyWithoutBorders.

    Today I am working almost exclusively online and awaiting more information on incorporating in other countries.

    Best Regards,
    Roger

  • Incogneedo

    @ diego beyer…I recently returned from Brazil and fell in love with the place….would love to get an apartment building down there and lease the units out to residents and vacationers…That is going to take some capital though….But for now my plan is to finish medical school, start some online businesses related to the medical field, open some practices in two or three cities that I would like to frequent and go from there….

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nathan.S.Merrick Nathan Merrick

    Hello Simon,

    The themes covered in the last 3-5 days on your forum will be essential to the mental, social, and economic evolution that will become necessary via the current Age of Turmoil.

    The trilogy of books, “Schrodinger’s Cat” by Wilson discusses and confronts these exact topics, albeit in a very “left field” approach (See Hubbard’s RICH Plan midway through the book).

    Coincidentally there is a character, Simon Moon, in the book you would find very much in common.

    You recommend so many good books, I would greatly like to hear your thoughts on this series. Thank you.

  • Maz100

    Obviously it would be nice to win a subscription to your premium site. I have ideas on how to gain economic independence. Its putting them into practise that is the problem. But I would probably pay for a subscription if Simon could answer this quote from JJ Luna:
    … I have little interest in second passports. If privacy is the goal, the time and money spent in attempts to get a second passport can better be spent in other directions. After all, even if you do have two passports, your name is still the same, as is your picture and your date of birth.

    • Jeff

      The main benefits of a second passport for US citizens aren’t about attaining greater privacy. Second passports namely offer access to overseas investment opportunities, greater travel options, opportunity to renounce US citizenship, etc.

  • Maximus Baralis

    Great blog Simon and very timely. I made some $ from two software IPOs where I worked which was enough to begin economic independence. I have since developed, licensed, and patented an invention I had, and used that platform to build a small but global business in innovation development. My company is currently incorporated in the US but my designers and engineers are in India, my factories are in China and Viet Nam, my customers are in EU, US and China, and my office is anywhere in between as in hotels, planes, etc. This keeps operating costs very low and is the new required model for small business as far as I am concerned. I am now looking into relocating my company to HK.

  • Bill

    Ive been a musician most of my life and also was one of the “back to the land’ movement people in the 70’s.Early on I realized it was feast or famine,especially in the music biz and also I would never be able to count on Uncle Sam in my retirement years (like now)because I only paid occasionally when I had a real job and I believed social security would not last this long.So I purchased some acreage and began to learn about self reliance.Beginning with growing food organically and learning how to preserve it by canning and drying and by taking the extra money after expenses and buying precious metals.As my skills improved I started selling at the local farmers market,then got milk goats and learned to make cheese and developed a personal market of people which I delivered to.
    I ve been off grid since 1978 and have tried and used every type of solar system available and aware of the good and the not so good components available and the best ways to incorporate them into an efficient system.Several years ago researched wind generators and now build my own.
    Also spent some time in Hawaii,Panama and Costa Rica researching and growing in the tropics.I thoroughly enjoyed Panama and perhaps may plant a flag there.
    Simon,your Sovereign Man notes from the field,is great information and inspiration for me.
    The next logical step is you premium service to continue my quest for economic independence and self reliance.
    Thank you for your consideration
    Bill

  • Emily Powell

    Hi Simon, My husband and I bought an old Victorian home in Chester, SC, USA and we renovated it and turned it into a B&B.
    When the economic turndown came I cut the rates in half and offered “no breakfast” instead which is better for both of us usually. Business is going well now. I’d like to open one of these up in Panama after we sell our home.

    I get alot out of your letters, keep up the good work, and Thanks,

    Emily Powell

  • Adam

    I can’t wait. This community would be a phenomenal value at twice the price (even though I’m happy to pay the lower price… LOL).

    Cheers,
    Adam

  • Tazwell Remu

    I am currently living offgrid with a spring fed water supply and sufficient wood and gardens to supply my families and even my neighbors needs in the event of any disruption of supply. I am a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and know first hand of the vagaries and empty promises of the systems that most take for granted. With the recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico it became very clear that the norm of corporate profit is too often not within parameters of what I consider to be a planetary and human truth. We must break our dependence that we have surrendered to these corporate thieves and take back our power. Whenever we fill our cars with gasoline we are supporting the further concentration of energy wealth and environmental degradation. The consumer side of this equation is the ignorance and complacency that feeds the greed that creates disasters such as the Gulf. It is time to locally form cooperatives that sponsor energy independence. I see Bio diesel as key. As with all things I will begin with myself, but hope to attract investment so that I can centralize for the community a filling station which will be operated as a private club. Furthermore to be able to get bulk contracts on virgin vegetable oil and the eventual leasing of pasture land to convert over to this production to have all aspects within collective oversite. This private club cooperative will be operated as a democracy, one member, one vote. I love your work Simon, it resonates on every level with truth and I believe therefore you will have great success with your project..

  • Itsme

    I am working on online marketing, taking a `teach english`course, and studying various ways of preserving incoming capital, while also doing a bit of traditional investing in land outside the US. While i have several more ideas in store for the future this is bound to give me a start. Thanks for the great service. I`d love to qualify for the subscription. Thumbs up!

  • http://biosphericresonance.com Nicole

    Right on, Simon! One cannot understate the importance of cultivating economic independence these days. As a spirited single mom with a kid to provide for, I have it as my foremost concern.

    My plan is to make my agricultural/environmental consulting and design business location-independent and more profitable by doing as much as possible over the phone and inernet, aided by GIS, CAD, and similar technologies. (Extremely hard to find clients in my current locality.)

    Also, I’m studying architecture via open courseware to add to my already considerable construction and artistic skills and integrate architecture into my existing business.

    Additionally I’m brushing up on my computer savvy with a view to starting a second business in IT consulting, with an accent on migration to open source systems (= independence from corporate IP rent-seeking), security, privacy, and basic website tech.

    The biggest challenge and frustration is that it is not true that “if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door”. I believe I have several “better mousetraps” to offer, especially to people such as read blogs like this one, who want to homestead and/ or start businesses involving agriculture and land development anywhere in the world. So for me what I need to work on most is how to reach out and make the right people aware of the value in working with me. Learning which problems in my field the solving of are most valuable, and how to package the solutions is my current goal.

    With that in mind, I’m looking for candidates for a giveaway of my own. Three people who already have achieved a decent degree of financial independence, but less experienced in the physical/ technical side of rural living and natural resource-based business, to become beta testers and receive 3 months of no-holds-barred consulting services from me at no charge.

  • http://www.incomebusinessexpert.com rickd

    Hello Simon,
    I just received your email on the new premium service and am interested in subscribing, but I was wondering on how you will keep the membership secure from “the powers that be” so that they do not gain access to the information and resources and try to shut them down and/or try to obtain information on the members?

  • Owen

    Just over a year ago I was employed as a VP for a high tech company, owned a beautiful home and drove my Porsche to and from work. Life was good or so I thought. Today, everything is different.

    I have very few worldly possessions (everything I own fits into less than 80 cubic square feet), I am considered unemployed in the traditional sense and haven no fixed address.

    I am also the happiest I have been in recent memory. My contemporaries think I am crazy.

    In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “…a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

    We are the authors of our actions and architects of our future. We cannot abdicate responsibility for our own success – And freedom is a large component of success.

    So what does this have to do with economics independence? It’s about cleaning the slate, looking at the “how’s” and “whys” of our actions – the rituals, belief systems, conventions and standards which exist in the world which we live.

    I have taken to simplifying life, reducing the overhead burdens and taking a closer look at the motivators behind our actions. From that vantage point I believe the road to economic independence becomes clear.
    O

  • traveladdict

    Currently we’re trying to sell our BC properties since we’re not liking how things changing. More taxes, more subsidized housing for life in the most expensive neighborhoods within 1/2 a block from the ocean of course, and more regulation. The health care here is fantastic as long as you don’t get sick then be prepared to wait years for that operation. Back in the 90s I was sick with tonsillitis for 2 years while waiting for surgery. We’ve also been investing in gold/silver bullion plus resource stocks. We want to move to another country in the next several years for economic reasons and just for the adventure of it. This winter I plan to brush up on my Spanish since most likely we’ll end up in South America or Central America. I like other areas but it would be easier travel wise to visit family in Canada from there plus Spanish is fairly easy to speak compared to other languages. Also on my to do list this winter is looking into opening a trading account with Saxobank. Thanks for all hard work, I love the daily newsletter.

  • Tom

    I potentially see the need for 2 sources of economic independence: the primary source is from online income, and the secondary is a local fall-back source… just in case there is a longer-term collapse of global systems which also disrupts the primary income source.

    The great thing about an online income source is the freedom to be located anywhere in the world where you have somewhat of an internet connection. (I’m increasingly training my “offshore” workers to handle most of the day-to-day operations.)

    That freedom enables me to choose the place where I live based on factors independent of the local economy. Instead, I can choose places with great weather, scenery, lifestyle, no offshore taxation, etc. And since I’m not an American citizen, my tax obligations end immediately after taking up residence in one of those locations.

    As for the source of online income, I had recognized years ago that the medical system in the Western world is facing an Age of Turmoil as well. With increasing medical costs, aging Baby Boomers, increases in major life-threatening diseases (cancer, diabetes, etc.) the status quo in health-care is clearly unsustainable.

    Here are a few areas that I’m tapping into, where I see huge growth:
    – alternative cures (yes, I realize that mainstream medicine doesn’t like that term, because they prefer to “treat” diseases instead of actually cure them… there’s much more money in ongoing treatments)
    – medical travel (whether it’s to save money, or to take advantage of proven cures that have been banned in the US and Canada by mainstream medicine)
    – preventative health care (where you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle, instead of abusing your body until you actually do get sick)
    – etc.

    More and more people are turning to the Internet every day to find information about all of the above health areas. That offers the perfect opportunity to position an online business, to help us declare our economic independence PLUS help us prepare for the Age of Turmoil!

  • Tom

    I potentially see the need for 2 sources of economic independence: the primary source is from online income, and the secondary is a local fall-back source… just in case there is a longer-term collapse of global systems which also disrupts the primary income source.

    The great thing about an online income source is the freedom to be located anywhere in the world where you have somewhat of an internet connection. (I’m increasingly training my “offshore” workers to handle most of the day-to-day operations.)

    That freedom enables me to choose the place where I live based on factors independent of the local economy. Instead, I can choose places with great weather, scenery, lifestyle, no offshore taxation, etc. And since I’m not an American citizen, my tax obligations end immediately after taking up residence in one of those locations.

    As for the source of online income, I had recognized years ago that the medical system in the Western world is facing an Age of Turmoil as well. With increasing medical costs, aging Baby Boomers, increases in major life-threatening diseases (cancer, diabetes, etc.) the status quo in health-care is clearly unsustainable.

    Here are a few areas that I’m tapping into, where I see huge growth:
    – alternative cures (yes, I realize that mainstream medicine doesn’t like that term, because they prefer to “treat” diseases instead of actually cure them… there’s much more money in ongoing treatments)
    – medical travel (whether it’s to save money, or to take advantage of proven cures that have been banned in the US and Canada by mainstream medicine)
    – preventative health care (where you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle, instead of abusing your body until you actually do get sick)
    – etc.

    More and more people are turning to the Internet every day to find information about all of the above health areas. That offers the perfect opportunity to position an online business, to help us declare our economic independence PLUS help us prepare for the Age of Turmoil by moving out of the areas where the greatest turmoil will presumably occur!

  • David

    I am a long-time Casey subscriber who has been following you, Simon, since Beyond Borders started up. I am impressed with your thinking and attitude. Like a few others among your subscribers, I am not particularly interested in material wealth. But, I would like to have the resources to pursue my interests and to support those of my wife.

    Camille (not her real name) is indigenous Amerindian from the interior of Guyana, an english-speaking country on the northeast coast of South America. She is a trainer and development practitioner who has returned to university (in the US) for a doctoral degree in non-formal education and community development.

    Guyana is not a place any of your readers would think of moving to. But, that’s where we are going. Camille is writing her dissertation on leadership and governance. I intend to contribute to lifting Guyana out of the disaster of its socialist past. There are exciting possibilities, despite typically combative politics.

    For example: Guyana’s two leading exports are rice and sugar. There appears to be substantial arable land near the coast lying undeveloped, where these commodities could potentially be grown. There is a new processing plant that can’t get enough cane to operate beyond 70% capacity. The InterAmerican Development Bank has expressed an interest in building an ethanol plant. Manual labor for harvesting cane is tapped out. Get my drift?

    I believe rice will be one of the most important agricultural products going forward as we head into the global food crisis. It is Guyana’s #1 export. The coast is low and wet. I think there may be huge potential for expansion. Again, I am told there is considerable unused land.

    We don’t have any money to speak of, but we do have valuable connections who know the turf. Is anyone interested in exploring this with me? We will have to think out-of-the-box!

    Camille and I will be building a home in the interior. Her village is 24 hours by boat from the city– There are no roads. But, I intend to make something happen for this little country. Dear friends, if anyone is intrigued please contact me.

  • Eric wt

    on declaring economic independence…

    Right now I am pretty economically independent.

    My operating costs are extremely low and getting lower. I am building a leaner more productive operation.

    Moving out of the USA 3 years ago opened up my world.

    But I am still tied to the USA banking system. I need to break free.

    Once I do that I will not be dependent on the USA for anything.

    Although I am a novice as far as offshore banking and corporate structures, I have strong experience in world trade, Import/Export.

    I also can spot needs and adapt.

    Living and traveling in Central America has taught me to take setback in stride and deal with absolute chaos with a confident attitude.

    I see additional global markets and opportunities everywhere.

    With my world trade experience I am pretty sure I could do middle man for just about any product. I think I could probably do consulting as well.

    Living in high risk areas as taught me about security and self reliance. The jungle has different rules.

    So many damn opportunities and I am still tied to the US banking system….Within one year or less, that will change.

  • Billkillorin

    Moved to Thailand got married to NON BAR WIFE, bought farm land with 3 sides surrounded by river. Repurchased gold. Looking for silver? Got out of USA, [left a paid for house-somebody want HOUSE a 3 -2 worth about 145k for 45k let me know..was 300k in 2007.]
    Planting long brown rice and NON GMO foods.
    Expanding solar–wind/ river resources looking into panels [fabric type] conserving resources…and trying to get off the GRID 110% at least for 1 weekend a month to learn firsthand shortages.{that is not fun ones learns quickly why large families in the 1800 survived …it s and all day chore to put food on table daily…
    Having too explain to Thai’s crazy forang….learning daily simple is better and quality tool is worth it weight in gold…ALMOST

    Wm K

  • Stefan

    Hi Simon,
    I have loved your articles since the first day I signed up. I am a Software Engineer who is not too old (I think???) at 37 for my industry, but have spent the last couple of months unemployed, and this is in a larger market in the US after working for a few ‘Fortune Companies’ in my years.
    After just scanning some responses that I am going up against, I realized something that no words can put in its place; it is simple “WANT”.
    I WANT IT and that is it. I can give you a great narrative about myself, my family and/or some family business that I may own or want to own, that maybe considered in your final judgment, or not. This also may contain a great back story as well, which I’d be willing to share with all given the opportunity and IT IS not BS, but still very compelling. How my family came here was not easy by any means. They underwent many hard things in order to make my family’s life much easier. All my Grandparents wanted was to give all of their children (1-2-5, child, grandchildren, great-grandchildren , respectively) a chance in what was the Great New World that they never had growing up, and now that is questionable as is this the RIGHT NEW WORLD?
    However, the fundamental question you ask is a simply ‘WHO’ wants it the best. Yes, I still want it, as many others, and I truly understand what you are asking for. My family drive has not been lost by any means. As an Engineer I see many sides to every and all stories and I see the other side which many don’t ever see as I do in this request. Bravo for getting it out. That’s all I can say without giving too much away. I hope you pick me, simple as that.

  • Pat8mm

    Simon, I believe that economics in the states are out of control i am currently a currency broker and have the scoop on up coming economic changes as far as looking at the dollar value of that particular country I am happy to pay 277.00 to get connected with like minded people that alone is worth whatever you make of it through networking and teamwork an age of turmoil can be an age of prosperity

  • Jimmy Dunn

    I believe a sovereign individual should have several alternative plans for economic independence, so I’ll give you mine, starting with the most basic:
    A. I am fortunate to live in the L.A. California area where the weather is temperate and there are lots of entertaining free things to do. If I get really poor, I can rent a cheap room, get books at the library(I love to read), and – not an ad, but McD’s has a $1 menu that includes a green salad, a fruit and yogurt parfait, a cheeseburger, even a hot fudge sundae, and a couple other things, plus I can get a Senior drink for $.70. So, for about $3 I can get a healthy meal. Other f/f joints also have various specials. Then, I go to the convenience store, get a cheap bottle of wine and bag of popcorn, go to the park, sprinkle the wine on the popcorn, and feed a nice fat pigeon. When he falls over drunk – Presto! “Marinated Squab”!
    Unfortunately, the doggone government raised the price, so I can no longer go to the Pound and get 40 pounds of Prime German Shepherd for $5.
    B. My lovely Brasilian fiancee has said more than once, “Come and live in my beach house, I will feed you!” And she’s a Great cook! With that goes the Brasilian citizenship and passport, which I believe entitles me to travel the Mercosul countries without need for a visa.
    C. I own an apartment in Florianopolis, Brasil with beach access, a great resort, and I’ve observed a number of things I believe I can successfully produce and sell. Their government is very interested in anything that puts people to work, so there are a number of tax breaks and incentives available.
    I believe the passport information still holds true reciprocally for all the Mercosur countries, maybe you can check your sources – it would certainly be an asset for moving about in South America (You can even go to Cuba).

  • Luigisxm

    Simon: I have declared my independence many years ago but just recently took the necessary actions to make it all real. I was going to break free many times but found it too hard to walk away from the game due to the easy money to be made in the states. I knew these days would arrive & so I was mentally prepared for the transition in late 2007. Since then, I have developed a high-end villa on the Caribbean island of St. Martin which I use as a home when there but mostly enjoy a terrific cash flow from vacation rentals when traveling. I have recently acquired an Italian passport through their ancestral program, which literally cost me $00.00. I now can easily set up businesses in 27 countries w/o a hassle while finalizing my expatriation efforts. I was a lawyer for a short while but spent most of my time as a real estate developer & deal maker & I have used these transferable skills throughout my travels. I now travel to different cities/towns in various countries & simply tie up strategic properties there to quickly turn over to the local chiefs who can’t fathom a straniero coming to their town & envisioning an opportunity that they could not see. My buyers are always the top locals-they pay me-I leave. I am now working on a hard money 1st mortgage business to lend to Americans who have difficulty borrowing in some countries to acquire their foreign properties. I can go on Simon, but the main things your readeers ought to consider are as follows: 1) Don’t always try to build a better mousetrap, use all of your efforts to build a smarter mouse; & 2) From you writings, I know that you are a saavy & sophisticated deal maker, so you know all too well that it is a lot harder to make money than to create it with deals that bring value to the deal participants. Great Letter & I look forward to your new upgrade!

  • Marianne

    Still working on declaring my economic independence, but feel I’m on the right track. 5 years ago, I purchased a home lot in Panama. The next year, I purchased a lot in Nicaragua. In the interum, I have been following the advice of Stansberry Research, and The Oxford Club. I also own a small productive farm in the States, and a rental property in a small private college town. It has been continuously rented at a very good return for 8 years.
    I retired in June after teaching 36 years. I could have had a higher income in another profession, or even by retiring earlier, but I loved the “aha moments” when students “got it”. I have have a very rewarding and satisifying career helping students, and bottom line, that is a much needed investment in the future of our future. On Sept. 22, I will be traveling to Argentina and Uruguay. The purpose of this trip is exploration of business possibilities. Having taught culinary arts, I hope to purchase the ideal location to establish a bed and breakfast. This will be a very suitable business for me with my background, and I will be able to have “part time” work and additional income. I say part time, because I can be “booked up” if I want time off, or I can take reservations. Also, if I desire a larger income, I can hire help when I want to be gone. For someone retired, but wanting to continue what I love, culinary arts, it seem the ideal solution. I feel I am pretty deversified for a person that has had a very modest income as a teacher. I am far from “rich”, but at my still relatively “young” age of just under 60, I feel I am on track. I certainly do however need the continued help and advice for planting multiple flags. Thanks. Marianne

  • Cwarner7_11

    You want a story of replanting the flag? Many years ago, on the election of Hilary’s husband as president of the US, I anticipated the coming of the Age of Turmoil, sold my lucrative engineering consulting practice and bought a sailboat. Due to a number of errors, misjudgements, and bad luck, a few years later I found myself on the beach in Panama with no resources, no friends and not even speaking the language. I now support myself quite comfortably with an engineering consulting firm here in Panama. I built the business by developing a network of key contacts within local society (note: I generally tend to avoid mixing in the expat communities- I don’t even like doing business with most of the expats, because they seem to be more interested in preserving the social order that I rejected long ago). I will be the first to admit that I got my start in Panama due to dumb luck (good, this time), but was able to capitalize on the opportunity because I deliver what I promise my clients…

  • Gromekd

    Simon: I have been a subscriber from the beginning and find your information to be very helpful. Your ideas do seem best for young people getting a start in life and those with big money looking to invest. I am somewhere in the middle. At 60 years my workaholic years are mostly behind me. Forced into early retirement I now focus on managing investments and planning for the future. Normally I would be celebrating with my military pension, investment incomes and soon social security. But I know that is all going to blow away in the wind. Can not complain as I am probably better of than most Americans. My wealth is divided into 4 piles. The retirement income, timber acreage in Michigan, a small farm and silver and gold bullion (the gold is mostly in a safe box in Canada). If I do get stuck in the USA I think it best to be on a farm in the country near a small town. I relay do not want to be here when things get bad. The thought of being holed up and dealing with friends and family begging at the door does not appeal to me. We are already dealing with an epidemic of home robberies in our area. I am presently working obtaining Polish passport through their ancestry program. Also thinking seriously of moving to Uruguay and buying as much farmland as possible. Then relax with a lovely local lady teaching me the language. I think this is my best path. With a little luck and a lot of hard work this will happen. If not you may find me floating around the world in a 40 foot sailing yacht. Anything to get out before the lights go out. Keep up the good work your information is priceless But please keep the price of your subscription affordable.

  • Joan

    Hello Simon: September 15, 2010
    Last week I wouldn’t have written you
    TODAY…….it is apparent my husband and I of 42 years must change our business focus once again …. 14 years changed our direction many times
    Talk about the warp speed turmoil of today. These past years we have been very careful to own our own commercial properties, investing our retirement money in our store stock and public attraction ……something that makes us more then 1%( taxed and clawed back ) retirement savings.
    Even this is NOT ENOUGH PROTECTION
    1. This season ALL 3 great candidates for buying the business shied away from buying “ because they valued their summer fun and weekend activities”.
    2. There is a crisis happening in producing quality merchandize . ( not just in our industry with many other retailers). Many of our manufacturers have dropped lines, shrunk their development and gone into receivership, finally folding. Our customers are used to choice and huge variety and cheap prices.
    3. After the third season of the “help” telling us when they are having holidays ( IN SUMMER !) and end working their season. Leaving us to work the heavy “shoulder months”.
    4. the e-commerce is not all it is cracked up to be . For actual profit ratio once you are in the hand of computer programmers is debatable. Nice service ….But profitable …..?
    In this Age of Turmoil We will consolidate Further !Use the good will and customer support ( best kind of advertising ) and turn our little business into a vital seasonal enterprise. That just the 2 of us can escape in the winter to our next opportunity in a small middle or South America country that is not the target of the UN and tax grabbing organizations. We will loose this socialist Canada where 50% are taxed to pay a comfortable existence for the other 50 % …….appalling political correctness.
    The future …….. getting close to old age 68 & 64 . ..Hope we don’t run out of good health. You wanted to know the plan ! That’s it. ……..building on what we have. Luckily we hold a second passport and another country bank account .NOW a little more concentration to moving our next business off shore.
    In the mean time I will continue to make entries into my “Black Book “ . Thanks for the nuggets of wisdom , which inspire us, and keep us “on track” . Opps ,sorry I let slip with a pun on our passion.
    Do we have enough guts to put energy into another change….no choice ….forward we go. Your daily blog is a lifeline . Thanks Simon.
    Canada

  • Rolf von Bülow

    I got problems( for sure unfair I must add, which hits many in the highest taxation country in the world and together with USA the biggest tax hunters…)in EU:s today economically best running country. Procured some arable land on balkan(outside EU and their legislation) for very cheap comparing to here in scandinavia. Started internet business as an affiliate for clickbankproducts and similar and have my assets guaranteed with panama IBC and foundation. Result: no big brother can “touch” me, I live more sane on products from best black earth in the world and my living costs has drastically went down and last but not least so much wonderful sun,sun…. Everything according to Simon Blacks repeatedly hammered recommendations lately,no.

  • Judythompsonrtw

    Simon, I am near Valle, Mexico on my way to Uruguay. I started from home on August 28. My home was in WA State now I believe I am a perpetual traveler. Mexico is a beautiful place but my goal is Uruguay. Your comments and info from International Living and Kathleen Petticord steered me farther south. Being a retired single teacher 70 years young its a challenge I am up for. I leave on a Mexican bus for Mexico City next Tuesday. I stay in hostels and ride busses. So far, so good. Thanks for all the encouragement, Simon. J. Thompson

  • Everson65

    Hi Simon. I have been following your column religiously for over a year now and am heeding many of your warnings. Having lost a fair amount of money in a start-up investment in 2008 it has taken me some time to recoup my losses and my nerves. In the meantime I have been actively taking steps to prepare for my “true freedom”. To me this means freedom from having to work. I love to work, but I don’t want to HAVE TO work. I would rather spend my time learning and teaching. Since last October I have been actively studying Stock and Option investing and have recently been making my first trades (after many months of Paper trading). In February of this past year I started taking private Spanish lessons to help lay a foundation before I leave. And most recently I am in the exploration stages of starting a company in the U.S. that will provide passive income for years to come. This is all in anticipation of a goal that I have had for a number of years. That is to move out of the United States and become an expat on the move for a number of years. Starting Feb. 2011 I will travel from Colorado through each country in Central and South America. It will be a two-headed spear, with half the objective being to find a place to buy some property (using the Open Opportunity IRA strategy which you enlightened me to) and secondly to explore university options where I can pursue a Master’s Degree in International Relations/Business. I know that the S. American universities do not receive the same accolades that their U.S. counterparts do, but the goal is education along with culture immersion. I do plan on signing up for your premium service as soon as it is available as I hope to one day become as independent as you are. I am still in my late 20’s so time is on my side.

  • The AI Trader

    Moved from the USA in 1994. Now have Scandinavian and US passports as do my kids. Ran an online software business for many years but tired of the time necessary for customer support and the long, boring hours programming. Wrote a system to predict horse racing outcomes similar to Dr. Bill Benter’s seminal work. Plan on moving back to the US next year and will stay until the kids have finished their High School years at a private prep school just outside of Boston.

    Wife and I have picked out an island in the Caribbean just below the hurricane belt where we will retire. Working on our private pilots’ licenses and then onto commercial so we can fly ourselves around without lines and the crazy security apparati appearing everywhere. No electronic strip searches for us, thanks!

    Speak five languages including French, Spanish, and English, so anywhere in the Western Hemisphere is my oyster

    Still not out of my 40’s so many years (hopefully) left to live, learn, and have fun with the family.

    Post festum, pestum!

  • aitrader

    Moved from the USA in 1994. Now have Scandinavian and US passports as do my kids. Ran an online software business for many years but tired of the time necessary for customer support and the long, boring hours programming. Wrote a system to predict horse racing outcomes similar to Dr. Bill Benter’s seminal work. Plan on moving back to the US next year and will stay until the kids have finished their High School years at a private prep school just outside of Boston.

    Wife and I have picked out an island in the Caribbean just below the hurricane belt where we will retire. Working on our private pilots’ licenses and then onto commercial so we can fly ourselves around without lines and the crazy security apparati appearing everywhere. No electronic strip searches for us, thanks!

    Speak five languages including French, Spanish, and English, so anywhere in the Western Hemisphere is my oyster

    Still not out of my 40’s so many years (hopefully) left to live, learn, and have fun with the family.

    Post festum, pestum!

  • Cynthia

    Best fertilizer is the “AGED” manure. It doesn’t matter which one Chicken,Caw,Horse, /Mushroom/ it just need to be aged /aproximately 2- 3 years to release the toxic urine from it/When I grew up fertilizers were not available at all and we alvays had a fresh and healthy food on the table just using the aged manure in the spring what was released into the ground by roto-tiller.
    Cynthia

  • Lucasjim43

    Brian,
    Natural gas may generate nice looking produce, but coming
    out of depleted soils has little nutritive value…
    one reason why there is so much chronic illness in the US.
    and why many people prefer “organic”.

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